Phils head home on high note after all-around finale win

Schwarber and Castellanos' homers, Sánchez's gem help club snap 3-game losing streak

May 30th, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO -- When your offense has not scored in 15 innings, it helps to have a leadoff hitter with a knack for grabbing his bat after the national anthem and immediately sending a ball out of the park.

For the fifth time this season, and the 36th time in his career, opened the game with a home run. The Phillies, shut out for 10 innings Tuesday night, immediately exhaled, then calmly scored more than enough runs to beat the Giants, 6-1, on Wednesday afternoon.

That ended Philadelphia’s season-high three-game losing streak and an inexplicable nine-game slide at Oracle Park dating back three seasons. The victory also brought the club to 5-4 over its past nine games, fueled by a three-game sweep vs. Texas before it lost series in Denver and San Francisco.

Manager Rob Thomson understood the value of Schwarber’s leadoff homer.

“Especially going into this game when we haven’t scored for a while, I think it just pumps everybody up a little bit,” Thomson said. “We usually do pretty well when we score first. You’re on top, and you get the other team on its heels.”

Schwarber added an RBI single in the eighth. Bryce Harper also singled home a run in the inning, his only hit in the series over 11 at-bats, which capped an eventful afternoon for the star.

After lefty Kyle Harrison struck him out in the first inning, Harper returned to the dugout and slammed his bat onto the bench over and over, finally firing it toward the helmet rack. Harper struck out again in the third, then took center stage during a benches-clearing incident in the fourth after Harrison buzzed him up and in with consecutive fastballs.

The second one hit the knob of Harper’s bat. After a replay review overturned the original call that he was hit by the pitch, Harper grounded out to strand the bases loaded with Philadelphia leading 2-0.

Fortunately for the Phillies, Harper’s production was not needed on a cathartic 14-hit afternoon.

had the most impactful day. With a single that started a scoring rally, a double and a two-run homer, Castellanos matched the three hits he collected throughout the first five games of a miserable road trip that had sunk his average below .200. Even with the three hits Wednesday, he finished the trip 6-for-27.

Still, the hits provided Castellanos a psychological lift ahead of a cross-country flight home.

“Sure, anytime you get results in this game it kind of puts your mind at ease a little bit,” Castellanos said. “But just as a collective group, it feels good to go into the off-day with a W.”

The Phils scored more runs than starter needed. The lefty completed a stellar May with six scoreless innings. For the month, he was 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA.

Sánchez is accomplishing something else a bit more subtle. The 27-year-old is holding his own in the best rotation in the Majors, pitching alongside the more experienced Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Ranger Suárez and Taijuan Walker.

Sánchez said through translator Diego D’Aniello that he sees them as more than teammates, but also as resources.

“It’s incredible,” he said. “I always try to follow the other pitchers in the rotation: Ranger, Nola, Wheels and Taijuan. They’re veterans, and I always try to watch their bullpens to see if I can pick up something.”